To use "news games" to tell stories and engage a nonprofit news organization's audience.
Gotham Gazette will produce at least three “news games” each year, for two years. The games will focus on life and problems in New York City. They will put the players into the shoes of decision-makers. Using real information about civic life, each game will show players how key decisions can change the course of a community. The choices individuals make will be tallied and available on the web site. Those choices, as well as players’ ideas and comments, will be presented to relevant public officials for further discussion. Gotham Gazette also will partner with community organizations to hold public forums with citizens, civic leaders, policy experts and city officials to discuss the results. Gotham Gazette will seek assistance from Knight News Challenge gaming experts in New York City, especially the Parsons School of Design, which offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in game design. Tentative games are:
The Garbage Game, where player have to juggle cost, environmental impact and fairness to find a way to handle the city’s garbage problem. Players will become their household garbage and follow the route it takes.
Emergencies, where players will have to reconcile the society’s need for security with its need for civil liberty.
The Health Game, which uses the Bloomberg administration’s bans on smoking and transfats to examine what else could be done to help people be healthier.
Land Use, where the player juggles demands for parks, retail space, housing and other community needs.
Gotham Gazette will do a blog explaining how it created these open-source games, for a Knight Foundation web site, so others can use the software to create their own serious games. It also will submit a final report that details what worked and what didn’t in this project. The source code for the creation of news games produced by this grant will be free and available under General Public License by June 2009. Documentation of the source code will be free and available under Creative Commons license by June 2009.
Note: Simulation Environment by Nora Paul is a similar sounding grant easily confused with this one.